Data & Mapping

The coronavirus pandemic is breaking the internet

To put it bluntly, our internet is breaking. And it’s not breaking equitably. During the last half of February 2020, our research shows that 1,708 counties (52.8 percent) in the U.S. had median download speeds that did not meet the Federal Communication Commission’s minimum criteria to qualify as “broadband” connectivity. By the last two weeks of March 2020 (following widespread shelter-in-place orders across the U.S.), we found that the number of counties that did not meet the FCC’s minimum criteria for broadband speed had increased to 2,012 (62.2 percent).

Sen Capito: FCC Broadband Annual Report Shows Progress, Data Maps Still Need Improvement

Sen Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, said that the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2020 Broadband Deployment Report shows progress has been made in better connecting communities across the country. However, the report is based off of flawed data. "[T]his report is not perfect, and I appreciate the FCC’s recognition that more granular data is needed," she said. "The report is a positive news that the digital divide continues to close and that we continue to make progress.

The FCC says all Americans are gaining advanced Internet access. It's wrong.

On April 24, the Federal Communications Commission released the nation's 2020 Broadband Progress Report. It concludes that broadband is being delivered to all Americans in a reasonable and timely way. But from where I sit, nothing could be further from the truth. I refused to offer my support for the 2020 Broadband Progress Report. That's because, in this crisis, it has become painfully clear that not everyone in the US has adequate Internet access. The evidence is all around us. We need to set broadband baseline standard to 100 megabits per second.

INCOMPAS Files ‘Communications Marketplace Report’ Comments with FCC

INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, is urging the Federal Communications Commission to adopt a stronger approach to encouraging competition across all markets.

Broadband DATA Act and Secure 5G and Beyond Act may transform rural internet access

In the wake of trillion-dollar stimulus packages, the signing of House Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta's (R-OH) Broadband DATA Act and Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020 on March 23 received little fanfare. But the acts are likely to spur an invisible transformation for rural communities, Rep Latta said.  “The reality is, many Americans across the country and Ohioans in the district I represent who live in rural areas don’t have reliable internet connectivity.

Frontier: A Major Telecom Monopoly Fails America

Frontier Communications recently declared bankruptcy, following a history of increasingly unsustainable acquisitions. It also just missed its milestone for the Connect America Fund, which required the company to deploy obsolete 10/1 Mbps service to 80 percent of the funded locations by the end of 2019 in return for more than $1.5 billion in subsidies. Some 774,000 locations should have at least 10/1 Mbps service by the end of 2020 from a company Consumer Reports repeatedly finds to be one of the worst Internet Service Providers in the nation.

Chairman Pai's Response to Senators Wicker, Thune, Blunt, Fischer, Moran, Johnson, Blackburn and Young Regarding a Proposal to Establish a 5G Fund for Rural America

On March 9, 2020,  Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Thune (R-SD), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Todd Young (R-IN) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai expressing concern as to having reliable underlying coverage data used to determine funding eligibility for a 5G fund for rural America. They urged the FCC to focus on ensuring that accurate data is available — including updates to the collection of coverage data as outline in the Broadband DATA Act. 

Commissioner Reactions to 5G Fund for Rural America

The Federal Communications Commission adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on the 5G Fund for Rural America. The auction process would be two-phase – and where the controversy comes in relates to which areas would be included in the first phase and when that auction would occur.

NCTA: Peak Broadband Traffic Growth Plateaus

In the fourth week of its COVID-19 Internet Dashboard, NCTA-the Internet & Television Association said that peak broadband growth, both downstream and up, has plateaued.

Internet Speed Analysis: Rural, Top 200 Cities April 12th – 18th

Our two most recent reports seemed to indicate that networks were slowly adjusting to the newfound demand being placed on them, but this week, these improvements have, in some cases, slowed to a crawl: